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Protecting copyright in cyberspace: challenging issue

The digital environment poses challenges for the protection of the rights of subjects and activities of management and enforcement agencies on copyright and related rights.
Doan Van Viet, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism

A seminar on ‘The young generation and copyright in cyberspace’ was held on April 26 by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. It was an opportunity for young people to exchange interesting and useful content on copyright and related rights, contribute to raising awareness of the observance of the laws on copyright and related rights, promote creative activities, protect creative achievements, and develop cultural industries. 

Doan Van Viet, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said while a lawsuit related to the copyright of a tangible cultural product takes a long time, it will take longer to deal with copyright infringement in cyberspace.

Viet said the protection of copyright and related rights plays an increasingly important role in modern times. The development of science and technology has generated new creative tools, created a storage environment, distribution methods, and new forms of exploitation and use of works, performances, phonograms, video recordings and broadcasts. 

However, the digital environment also poses many challenges for protection of the rights of subjects and activities of management and enforcement agencies on copyright and related rights, especially when copyright infringement is committed by many different subjects from different countries, making it difficult to identify and handle violations. 

Viet said young people are creators who are ready to face challenges, especially in cyberspace, as smartphones and mobile phones connect the globe, and narrow the gap between the real life and cyberspace. The situation allows youth to promote creativity and innovation in business. 

“Young people with enthusiasm, passion and dynamism will continue to show innovative and creative thinking in activities in the fields of literature, arts and sciences; and take a pioneering role in copyright and related rights protection, thus together creating a bright future,” Viet said. 

Le Doan Hop, former Minister of Information and Communications, Honorary President of the Vietnam Digital Media Association commented that the young generation with copyright in cyberspace is a necessary topic. Vietnam is integrating deeply into the world and there is no reason to be unable to protect copyright. 

“The time young people ‘live’ on social networks and internet is increasingly high. The 4.0 industry is a fast-paced and spectacular revolution, where there are both opportunities and challenges for all, and youth have a very important mission,” Hop said. 

“The world can do it and we can do it, too. No matter how difficult things are, if we dare to jump in, we will find a way to do it,” he said.  

Community awareness helps fight piracy 

Le Quang Tu Do, Deputy Director of the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information, emphasised the heightening of the role of ISP (internet service providers) as a solution to protect copyright.  

He said that it was necessary to ask ISPs to respect and observe the laws on copyright protection. The legal framework is being perfected in Vietnam, which gives idea conditions to ask ISPs to strictly observe the laws. 

Do pointed out the habit of young people using products free of charge needs to change. 

“The amount of money one has to pay to use copyrighted services is small, just tens of thousands of dong to watch high-quality movies. However, young people still like to watch films for free, though the quality of the movies is low,” Do said. 

The official stressed that to in addition to setting up a reasonable legal framework, it’s necessary to heighten people’s awareness about copyright protection. 

Lawyer Phan Vu Tuan from Phan Law Vietnam affirmed that if young people are aware of not watching pirated movies or football matches, copyright infringement will have fewer opportunities to survive.  

Tuan recalled the story of an 18-year-old boy who secretly filmed and livestreamed the movie Co Ba Sai Gon (The Tailor) a few years ago, causing the content producer to suffer a considerable loss. 

Dinh Trung Can, Director of the Vietnam Centre for Protection of Music Copyright (VCPMC) said that, in the past 20 years, the awareness of copyright protection in music in particular and in other fields in general has increased.  

“We are going step by step before reaching stability,” he said.

Tinh Le

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